Sheriff: ‘Felony lane gang’ targets Greenwood moms

Amanda White gives a temporary fix to her vehicle. She had dropped off her 5-year-old around 7:20 a.m. Feb. 12, 2018, at Adventures Child Care & Learning Center in Greenwood. She walked out a few minutes later and found her back window shattered. (WISH Photo)

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — Johnson County detectives said a thief shattered the car windows of two mothers as they dropped their kids off at day care and school Monday morning.

Sheriff Doug Cox said he suspects the thief was looking for IDs, credit card and checkbooks to commit fraud. Cox said criminals sometimes target busy mothers who are likely to leave their purses in the car when they walk their kids through the doors of schools or day care centers.

Amanda White, however, brought her purse with her when she dropped off her 5-year-old around 7:20 a.m. at Adventures Child Care & Learning Center, 300 Western Blvd., southeast of the intersection of State Road 37 and Fairview Road. She walked out a few minutes later and found her back window shattered.

“I think what they were after was they thought there was a purse underneath my coat,” White said. “It felt like a violation. It was very frustrating.”

By the time White walked out, the suspect was gone. The only thing they stole? The mom’s lunchbox.

Police said someone smashed another mom’s window just after 7 a.m. at The Goddard School, 5044 Bancroft Lane, south of Fairview off County Road 500 West. The sheriff said the suspect took off without stealing anything after realizing the mom was still in the car.

School security video shows a red or maroon van or SUV in the parking lot. Police said they believe it’s the suspect car.

“It’s more than likely the ‘felony lane gang,'” Cox said.

Cox said “felony lane gang” is a term for criminals who commit fraud in the bank lane furthest from the teller. The sheriff said they’re often from out of state, in stolen or rented cars and wearing wigs to hide their identities.

“They’re watching for that mother to go inside with the child, suspecting that she’s left something inside her vehicle.”

According to Cox, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office investigates “felony lane gang” cases every few months. He said, in the past, thieves have stolen checkbooks or credit cards from cars at The Goddard School.